THOROFARE, N.J., June 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Akers Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:AKER) (LSE:AKR) (the "Company" or "ABI"), a leading designer and manufacturer of rapid diagnostic screening and testing products, announces a distribution agreement (the "Agreement") for the Company's PIFA Heparin/PF4 and PIFA PLUSS PF4 rapid tests with Medline Industries Inc. ("Medline"), the largest privately held distributor of healthcare supplies in the United States.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Medline, which has a network of 40 distribution centers in the United States and 1,200 dedicated sales representatives worldwide, is expected to begin marketing the Company's tests to a large network of hospitals and surgery centers across the United States immediately. In respect of sales to hospitals, historically the Company has focused on targeting hospital laboratories, however, Medline's sales representatives have relationships with multiple departments within a hospital customer, including the hospital pharmacy. The Company believes that marketing within multiple hospital departments including but not limited to hospital pharmacies will help to increase market penetration of its PIFA Heparin/PF4 and PIFA PLUSS PF4 rapid tests.
PIFA Heparin/PF4 and PIFA PLUSS PF4 are the only FDA-cleared, single-use tests which quickly determine if a patient, being treated with the blood thinner Heparin, may be developing a drug allergy. The resulting clinical syndrome, referred to as Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia ("HIT"), reverses the Heparin's intended effect of thinning the blood and transforms it into a clotting agent which can result in death or limb amputation.
In the United States, approximately 12 million patients are exposed to Heparin annually; and 1%-5% of those are diagnosed with HIT. The largest at-risk patients are those undergoing major cardiac or orthopedic surgery. It is estimated that up to half of cardiac surgery patients develop HIT-antibodies.
Unlike traditional testing methods, which require expensive equipment, specialized laboratory personnel and a turnaround time of approximately 4-72 hours, ABI's PIFA Heparin/PF4 Rapid Assay delivers a result in less than 10 minutes after the blood sample has been prepared.
Additionally, the Company's PIFA PLUSS PF4 extension of the test further improves the rate at which hospitals can obtain a HIT-antibody result as it now incorporates the Company's patented Rapid Blood Cell Separation Technology. This technology eliminates the need for blood sample preparation, meaning the test can be carried out in minutes at the point-of-care.
"HIT-antibody testing has too often been too slow to be factored into time-sensitive diagnostic and treatment decisions," said Raymond F. Akers Jr., Ph.D, Executive Chairman. "We believe that our rapid assays, which can be completed at the point-of-care, have the capacity to drastically improve the rate at which HIT-antibodies are identified, improve patient outcomes and save large sums of money for hospitals prescribing expensive alternatives to Heparin unnecessarily while awaiting results from slow lab-based tests. Our goal is to become the hospital's test of choice for the millions of patients exposed to Heparin annually," added Dr. Akers.
"Following the signing of the Agreement, our tests for HIT-antibodies are now being marketed by the three largest distributors of healthcare supplies in the United States. This Agreement, in conjunction with Typenex's highly targeted approach, gives the Company the broadest marketing coverage across the United States for these products since launch. We are delighted to be partnering with Medline which enjoys strong relationships with its customers and benefits from a vast distribution network," said Dr. Akers.
Medline is the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies in the US, providing more than 350,000 products that serve the entire continuum of care. Their innovative products and programs can be found in most hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centers, physician offices, home care dealers, home health agencies and retail outlets. Medline recorded sales of $5.8 billion in 2013. It is ranked No. 69 on the Forbes 2012 list of largest privately held companies in America and employs more than 12,000 people worldwide with operations in more than 25 countries.
ABOUT AKERS BIOSCIENCES, INC.
Akers Biosciences develops, manufactures, and supplies rapid, point of care screening and testing products designed to bring healthcare information both rapidly and directly to the consumer or healthcare provider. The Company has advanced the science of diagnostics while responding to major shifts in healthcare through the development of several proprietary platform technologies. The Company's state-of-the-art rapid diagnostic assays can be performed virtually anywhere in minutes when time is of the essence. The Company has aligned with major healthcare companies and high volume medical products distributors to maximize product offerings, and to be a major worldwide competitor in diagnostics. Additional information on the Company and its products can be found at www.akersbiosciences.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements
Statements contained herein that are not based upon current or historical fact are forward-looking in nature and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements reflect the Company's expectations about its future operating results, performance and opportunities that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. These statements include but are not limited to statements regarding the intended terms of the offering, closing of the offering and use of any proceeds from the offering. When used herein, the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "upcoming," "plan," "target", "intend" and "expect" and similar expressions, as they relate to Akers Biosciences, Inc., its subsidiaries, or its management, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause the Company's actual results, performance, prospects, and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: For more information:
Raymond F. Akers, Jr. PhD
Executive Chairman of the Board
Akers Biosciences, Inc.
Tel. +1 856 848 8698
Brendan HopkinsRedChip Companies, Inc. (US Investor Relations)
Tel. +1 407 644 4256 x134
Emma Earl / Harrison ClarkeDaniel Stewart (Nomad and Broker)
Tel. +44 (0)20 7776 6550
Ben Simons / Alexandra RoperVigo Communications (UK Investor Relations)
Tel. +44 (0)20 7016 9570
Source: Akers Biosciences, Inc.